ORICA-SCOTT has confirmed the signing of talented Australian riderLucy Kennedy for the upcoming season with the 2017 Tour de l’Ardeche winner the latest addition to the team’s 2018 roster.

A strong time triallist who can also climb well, Kennedy has great stage racing potential as a future general classification contender after a stage win followed by the overall victory and points classification at the Tour de l’Ardeche in September.

Third place in the road race at the Australian National Championships in January was followed up by victory in the individual time trial at the Oceania Continental Championships and solid results at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and the Lotto Ladies Tour.

“To join ORICA-SCOTT in 2018 is a huge thrill,” said Kennedy. “I have so much admiration and respect for all the riders, so to be able ride with and in support of them is a dream come true.”

“Watching from the outside throughout 2017, it’s not just their great results that make the team so appealing, but also the positive culture that so obviously exists within the whole set up.

“I have a lot to learn about racing at the very top level and there is no better place than ORICA-SCOTT for me to do just that. The opportunity to contribute to the continued success of the team is highly motivating and I’m really excited about the season ahead.”

Sport director Gene Bates spoke of the team’s excitement at the prospect of Kennedy’s future development within the ORICA-SCOTT set up.

“We are extremely happy to have Lucy on the team for next year,” said Bates. “Lucy is relatively new to the sport of road cycling, but has already shown a lot of class and potential over a short period of time. We certainly sat up and took notice when she was awarded the Amy Gillet foundation scholarship for 2017.”

“In January she put together some great rides at the national championships and Cadel’s race, before moving onto European competition where she won the overall at one of the hardest editions of the Tour de l’Ardeche whilst riding with the Australian National High5 team.

“Climbing abilities like hers don’t come along very often and we are very proud and excited to see her develop in the ORICA-SCOTT colours next season.”